Skip to main content

Full text of "Memorial : Philena McKeen, June 13, 1822 May 13, 1898"

See other formats

3 1330 00133 4071 , 


Do Not Take From This Room 

And. Coll. 

McKeen, Ph. 

Downs, Annie S 

Memorial Hall Library 

Andover, Mass. 01810 

pbilena flDclkeen 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 

x^ '0- 


Ipbilena /IftclReen 

aune 13, 1822 
/E>a« 13, 1898 

edited by 
Annie Sawyer Downs. 




TUST at sunset, Friday, May 13, 1898, Miss 
^ Philena McKeen, for thirty -three years 
principal of Abbot Academy, Andover, Mas- 
sachusetts, calmly and peacefully died in her 
own home, which she had named " Sunset 
Lodge " when she took possession of it six 
years before. 

As a large gathering of old scholars and 
personal friends at her funeral was inevitable, 
it was thought best that the service should 
be held in Draper Hall instead of her own 
house. Accordingly, on Monday, the 1 6th, she 
was carried to the " McKeen-Rooms." At two 
o'clock in the afternoon the Fidelio Society 
of Abbot Academy, under the direction of 
Professor S. M. Downs, chanted to music of 
his own composing, — " I will lift up mine eyes 
unto the hills," and the Lord's Prayer was 
repeated in unison by the assembled friends. 

Then the following appropriate and sig- 

4 /IDtss pbtlena /IDclkeen 

nificant selections of Scripture were read by- 
Professor John Wesley Churchill, d.d. : 

" Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, 
that they may rest from their labors, and their 
works do follow them. Blessed are they that 
do his commandments, that they may have a 
right to the tree of life, and may enter in 
through the gates into the city. The memory 
of the just is blessed. The path of the just is 
as the shining light, that shineth more and 
more unto the perfect day. The righteous 
shall flourish like the palm tree ; they shall 
grow like the cedars of Lebanon ; those that 
be planted in the house of our Lord shall 
flourish in the courts of the Lord ; they 
shall still bring forth fruit in old age. 
Because he hath set his love upon me, I 
will set him on high. With long life will 
I satisfy him and show him my salvation. 
Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age, 
like as a shock of corn cometh in his season. 
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death 
of his saints. 

" Who can find a virtuous woman ? Her 
price is far above rubies. Favor is deceitful, 

/IDemorial. 5 

and beauty is vain ; but a woman that feareth 
the Lord, she shall be praised. Strength and 
honor are her clothing. She openeth her 
mouth with wisdom ; and in her tongue is the 
law of kindness. She stretcheth out her hand 
to the poor ; yea, she reacheth forth her hands 
to the needy. 

" Every wise woman buildeth her house. 
Behold, saith your God, I will lay thy stones 
with fair colors, and lay the foundations with 
sapphires; and I will make thy windows of 
agates ; and thy gates of carbuncles ; and all 
thy borders of pleasant stones. Thy daugh- 
ters shall be as corner-stones, polished after 
the similitude of a palace. Ye are God's 
building. According to the grace of God 
which is given unto me as a wise master- 
builder, I have laid the foundation, and 
another buildeth thereon. Other foundation 
can no man lay than that is laid, which is — 
Jesus Christ. Know ye not that ye are the 
temple of God, and that the spirit of God 
dwelleth in you ? The temple of God is 
holy, which temple ye are ! The King's 
daughter is all glorious within. 

6 /iDiss pbtlena /iDcTkeen 

" She hath sent forth her maidens. Kings' 
daughters are among her honorable women. 
The virgins, her companions that follow her, 
shall be brought unto thee ; with gladness 
and rejoicing shall they be brought; they 
shall enter into the King's palace. They that 
turn many to righteousness shall shine as the 
stars, forever and ever. Give her of the fruit 
of her hands ; and let her own works praise 
her in the gates. 

" How is the strong staff broken, and the 
beautiful rod ! The daughters of nations shall 
lament her. We took sweet counsel together, 
and walked to the house of God in company. 
Thy love was wonderful. Love is strong as 
death ; many waters cannot quench love, 
neither can the floods drown it. Many 
daughters have done virtuously ; but thou 
excellest them all ! 

" When she was in affliction she besought 
the Lord her God : ' Hear my prayer, 

Lord, and give ear unto my cry. O 
spare me, that I may recover strength before 

1 go hence to be no more. Thou hast weak- 
ened my strength in the way. Mine eyes 

/IDemoriaL 7 

fail in looking upwards. Abide with me ; 
for it is toward evening, and the day is far 
spent; the shadows of evening are stretched 

" Jesus said : ' Lo, I am with you alway, 
even unto the end of the world. My grace 
is sufficient for thee.' Say unto her: 'Is it 
well with thee ? ' And she answered : ' It is 
well. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills 
from whence cometh my help ! My help 
Cometh from the Lord. At eventime it shall 
be light. Though I walk through the valley 
of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil ; 
for thou art with me ; thy rod and thy staff, 
they comfort me. I know that my Redeemer 
liveth. I know whom I have believed ; and 
am persuaded that he is able to keep that 
which I have committed unto him until 
that day. I would not live alway. For me 
to live is Christ, and to die is gain. To 
depart and be with Christ is far better ; absent 
from the body, and present with the Lord. 
Therefore my heart is glad ; my flesh also 
shall rest in hope. In thy presence is fullness 
of joy, and at thy right hand are pleasures 

8 /iDiss pbtlena jflDclkeen 

forevermore. Father, I would that they whom 
thou hast given me be with me where I 

" There is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, 
that it will sprout again, and bud, and bring 
forth boughs like a plant ; but if a man die 
shall he live again ? 

" Jesus answered : ' I am the resurrection 
and the life ; he that believeth in me, though 
he were dead, yet shall he live ; and he that 
liveth and believeth in me shall never die. 
Because I live, ye shall live also.' Now is 
Christ risen from the dead, and become the 
first fruits of them that slept. O death, where 
is thy sting ? O grave, where is thy victory ? 
Thanks be to God, which giveth us the vic- 
tory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

" When Christ who is our life shall appear, 
ye also shall appear with him in glory. And 
we shall be like him ; for we shall see him as 
he is. They shall see his face, and his name 
shall be in their forehead. I shall be satisfied, 
when I awake, with thy likeness. And there 
shall be no more death ; neither shall there be 
any more pain. There the weary be at rest. 

/iDemortaL 9 

So he giveth his beloved sleep. And so shall 
we be ever with the Lord." 

At the close of the Scripture reading, 
Professor Churchill offered prayer, in words 
so appreciative of Miss McKeen, and so in 
sympathy with our individual sorrow, that 
for the moment grief was lost in a realization 
of her worth and in an assurance of her 
perfect happiness. 

Professor Churchill said : — 

O thou ever-living Refuge of thy children, 
we reverence thee as the only Lord of life 
and death. From thee cometh down every 
good and every perfect gift ; and we draw 
near to thee in the spirit of praise and grati- 
tude to bless thee for the unspeakable gift of 
the noble, saintly soul whose departure from 
us leaves a shadow upon our hearts. Now 
that she has finished the great work thou 
gavest her to do, we bless thee for her long 
and bountiful life in all the strength and 
beauty of its completeness. Death is robbed 
of his sting, and the grave has no victory here. 

lo jfflMss pbilena /iDclkeen 

There is everything to remember in her that 
savors of the holy incense of unselfish Chris- 
tian living, and of loving, faithful service in 
the Kingdom of God. 

We thank thee for the tender memories 
which unseal the springs of gratitude, of ven- 
eration, and of love in the hearts that revered 
her as teacher, counsellor, and friend. In 
giving voice to the feelings of our hearts, we 
cannot sufficiently thank thee for all that she 
was to so many of us in our days of inexpe- 
rience, of ignorance, and of youthful peril. 
We rejoice that, although the years have come 
and gone since we felt the immediate touch of 
her firm and gentle spirit upon our unformed 
natures, she is infinitely more to us than a 
beloved memory ; as a blessed influence in the 
very life of our life she is living still. In thy 
gracious ordering of our lives, thou leavest 
more than her image in our hearts. We have 
yet something of that which was sweet, and 
strong, and sacred in the benign presence 
which here we shall know no more. She 
being dead yet speaketh in the fruitage of her 
wise guidance and tender solicitude, in her 

/iDemortaU n 

admonitions, her encouragements, and her 
inspirations for attaining to high ideals of 
Christian character and conduct. As the 
sacred memories flood our hearts in the last 
presence of her mortality ; as we think of the 
happy family life in the school, with its daily 
prayer and song and word of counsel ; its dedi- 
cation of young life to Christ and his service ; 
its innocent pleasures and intimate confi- 
dences ; its bright visions and new meanings 
of life, — we give thee the profoundest grati- 
tude of our souls for these inestimable privi- 
leges and untold blessings. We who have 
been her associates in the instruction of 
the school and in the administration of its 
family life would render to thee thanks- 
giving for the unspeakable blessing of the 
intimate companionship of her example, for 
her wisdom, her patience, and her unfailing 
kindness. The guardians of the school give 
thanks to God at this hour for her incalcu- 
lable worth to the cause of education, and 
to the institution she has so disinterestedly 
loved and devotedly served. We gratefully 
recognize thy goodness in bestowing upon 

12 /iDtss iPbilena /iDclkeen 

her great gifts of enterprise and of adminis- 
tration, which enabled her to accomplish so 
much for the material prosperity of our 
beloved school ; and which have introduced 
so many opening, inquiring minds to the 
mysteries of nature and the treasures of art. 

We are glad and grateful before thee for 
the domestic life that made her home a place 
of peace, — a centre from which has radiated 
influences to cheer and to bless. We are 
thankful that the youthful life of her house- 
hold received a blessing in the beautiful gospel 
of her daily life, and that its formative influ- 
ence was so strongly impressed upon them. 
We rejoice that thou didst put into her heart 
a love for little children, and that the pres- 
ence of the innocent faces she gathered about 
her kept her heart young and led her own 
childlike spirit into still deeper w^ays of love 
and trust in the Heavenly Father. 

We have great cause of thankfulness to 
thee for the vigor of spirit, of mind, and of 
body which thou didst impart to her in her 
declining years, and which filled her leisure 
from official responsibilities full of tireless 

/IDemoriaL 13 

and beneficent activity, enabling her still to 
render varied service to the school of her 
love, and to complete the crowning work of 
her later life. We remember her many ways 
of helpful friendship in the intellectual and 
social life of our community, which made 
her presence amongst us a continual bene- 
diction. Thou didst graciously impart to 
her the spirit and love of the beautiful; and 
we gratefully recognize her expression of it 
in ways which lead us as citizens to give 
to her memory the tribute of our praise. 

Especially do we thank thee, O thou 
Giver of the great gift of this precious life, 
that the Christian faith of all who knew her 
is deeper and stronger because they have 
witnessed her implicit trust in the divine 
Father, who portioned out for her all her 
life, with its multiplied joys and repeated 
sorrows, so that she did not fear to meet its 
inevitable changes. Our lives are richer 
because thou gavest her a heart at leisure 
from itself to sympathize with the expe- 
riences of others. We have had living 
amongst us one whose controlling motive 

14 fibiss IPbilena /IDclkeen 

of life was to have a mind constantly intent 
on pleasing thee. 

It is our joy and consolation, O Father, 
to think of thy loving-kindness to her in 
her days of failing strength. God bless and 
comfort the dear ones whose hearts of lov- 
ing kinship led them from their distant 
home to her bedside to soothe her weari- 
ness, and in offices of loving devotion to 
smooth her pathway out of its mortality 
into the heavenly life. Make them glad 
in thy mercy all their days, and in the 
memory of her wise sympathy and self-for- 
getting love. Let thy comforting presence 
go with them as they bear her beloved 
form to its last resting-place amongst the 
Green Hills far away, where she shall sleep 
in the midst of kindred and friends, and 
be placed beside the beloved sister whose 
life was so intertwined with hers and the life 
of the school, and whose blessed memory is 
enshrined in so many of our hearts. Do 
thou graciously reward the loving heart of 
thine handmaid who has rendered our dear 
friend such watchful and faithful service for 

jflDemoriaL 15 

so many years, and guide her future days in 
ways of pleasantness and in paths of peace. 

Our hearts go out in grateful blessing 
to the Providence that so gently detached 
the spirit of our beloved from the ties that 
bound her to earth, and rounded her long 
and useful life with a sleep. We are happy 
in thinking that thou didst time the going 
down of the sun of her life with the fading 
away of the light of day in the dear, hopeful 

We would fain linger in this hallowed 
place, within this monument of her loving 
devotion ; within these rooms once animated 
by her gracious presence, and now made for- 
ever sacred by the silence of her slumbering 
dust. But as thou dost bid us take our last 
farewell of the friend revered and beloved, 
with whom we took sweet counsel ; of the 
leader of our youthful ways, to whom so 
many eyes looked up for guidance ; and 
whose spirit of devotion turned our duties 
into love, we bless and praise thee again 
and again for the dear ties which thou hast 
severed; and we pray that a double portion 

i6 /iDlss iPbtlena /iDcTkeen 

of her spirit may rest upon us. Help us 
to yield ourselves in service to thee — her 
Father and ours. We will not be afraid 
either of duty, or of sorrow, or of death, in a 
world which has been sanctified by saintly 
souls like hers, and in the presence of a 
Providence where no evil thing can dwell 
forever. Give us strength to return from 
this solemn scene to the varied duties of 
our place with chastened desires, with holier 
aspirations, with more faithful diligence, with 
less trust in ourselves, and a deeper rest in 
thee. May we dedicate ourselves anew to 
thy will. And when for each of us life's 
day shall close, and the shadows of evening 
shall gather around us, may we hail the 
Angel of Death as a messenger of mercy, 
and the grave as the very Gate of Heaven. 
Our prayer is before thee, O Father, in the 
name of Him who is the Resurrection and 
the Life: Amen and Amen. 

The school hymn — 

" Father, I know that all my life 
Is portioned out for me," — 

was sung by the Fidelio Society and the 
blending voices of the many former pupils 

/IDemortaL 17 

and friends, as from the various rooms they 
took up the words and notes of the dear old 
hymn. The simple yet impressive service was 
closed with the Benediction : — " The God of 
Peace that brought again from the dead our 
Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, 
through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 
make you perfect in every good work to do 
his will, working in you that which is well- 
pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; 
to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen." 

i8 miss pbtlena /iDclkeen 

The Andover Townsman of Friday, May 
20, 1898, contained the article printed below ; 
written by Miss Maria S. Merrill, who for 
many years was a valued associate of Miss 
McKeen in Abbot Academy. 

Philena McKeen. 
June 13, 1822. 
May 13, 1898. 

The earthly life of one widely known 
and truly honored has gone out from among 

This fact, full of deep meaning, we can 
as yet hardly grasp ; how, then, is it possible 
at this time and in words, to utter her 
praise, or to express in any adequate man- 
ner our sense of her worth and of our loss? 

Philena McKeen was born in Bradford, 
Vermont, on the 13th of June, 1822. Of 
her good parents, of her gifted sisters and 
brother, of the beautiful home life, stern but 
inspiring, much might be said. Miss Mc- 
Keen honored her father and mother, and 
from them early learned those lessons of 

/iDemortaL 19 

obedience, thoroughness, and tireless energy 
which marked her whole career. Her father, 
the Rev. Dr. Silas McKeen, a man of un- 
usual strength of character, guided and sup- 
plemented her instruction in the schools, and 
was a constant example to his children of 
simple piety, sincere living, sturdy indepen- 
dence, and unswerving fidelity to duty. Miss 
McKeen taught with success in Bridgton, 
Me., at College Hill, Ohio, and from Oxford, 
Ohio, she was called to the principalship of 
Abbot Academy in 1859. Although thirty- 
seven years of age when she came to An- 
dover, it seems as though her real life work 
began here. Certain it is that her character 
and her capabilities for extraordinary useful- 
ness developed richly in her new work. Able 
principals Abbot Academy had had before 
her, but to Miss McKeen it was granted, 
during the thirty-three years of her steward- 
ship, to make vigorous effort for the increase 
of the school in things material, mental, and 
spiritual, and we rejoice today to know that 
she lived to see some of the fruits of her 
labors, for who but God can measure the 
whole harvest.'* 

Twenty r r- :': ''— .' Keen and her 
beloved sis:: ^- — ? Abbot 

Academy, ihe s:;: v , ~>- its 

semi-centennial. T : yz:,:\ i.\t Hi^:::. of 
Abbot Academy :en by the two sisters, 

gave to the world an inspiring record of what 
had been already wrought. How great a part 
of the s:h : jI's success and growth was due 
to rhrse faithful teachers, and especially to 
Miss McKee:.. those who know the school 
bes: see most clearly. In 1880, Miss Phebe 
died. What seemed a death-blow to our be- 
loved friend, was rather a life-blow, robbing 
death of its terrors, drawing her still nearer 
to :he en world, sweetly unfolding that 
^^e ss which made her great. How 

^ a: .-^ how cheerfully she stood alone, the 
last of her i^imily! In the summer of 1S92, 
Miss McKeen withdrew from active ser\ace 
in the school, ha\nng lived two years in 
Draper Hall, so truly the work of her hands, 
but f:r an instant did she \s-ithdraw 
from it her acdve interest in all that apper- 
tained to its well-being. For well-nigh six 
happy years Miss McKeen lived in South 

/IDcmorial. 21 

Hall, which then received from her its new 
name : " Because the bright sun floods it all 
day and sets in wondrous glor\' before the 
western windows, and also because these are 
my sunset years, I have named my house 
* Sunset Lodge.' The last name reminds me 
that this is only a lodge — a waiting-place, 
till, through grace, the Father shall summon 
me HOME." With these words she closed 
her " Sequel to the History of Abbot Acad- 
emy," a work published last Christmas and 
relating in Miss Mc Keen's clear and graphic 
way the history of the school from 1 879-1 S92. 
Although the Home beyond was attractive 
to her, she loved her work here and proved 
herself as great in her retirement as in her 
activity, entering into all good works for 
school and home and town. Many can bear 
record of these recent years. Her last illness, 
which lasted but a month, was painless, but 
her strength waned fast, and at sunset. May 
13, she fell asleep. On Monday, May 16. 
her body was borne to the McKeen-Rooms 
in Draper Hall, which were beautiful with 
graceful palms and exquisite flowers, arranged 

22 /iDiss iPbtlena /IDclkeen 

by loving hands, and there friends met to 
praise God for this faithful friend and coun- 
sellor, this wise and good woman. A choir 
from the school chanted the favorite psalm, 
" I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills," and 
then all united in the Lord's prayer. Pas- 
sages of Scripture, beautifully significant and 
fitting, were read by Professor Churchill, who 
also led our prayer. Many joined in the 
school hymn, 

" Father, I know that all my life 
Is portioned out for me," 

and with a benediction the impressive service 
ended. Tuesday morning a few neighbors 
and friends gathered in Sunset Lodge for 
hymn and Scripture and prayer, before bear- 
ing the beloved form to the old home in 
Bradford, Vermont. 

At Bradford, a few life-long friends of Miss 
McKeen joined her nephew and niece, Mr. 
and Mrs. Charles McKeen Duren, and the 
Andover friends who accompanied them, in 
the peaceful graveyard, and in the bright 
afternoon sunshine they lifted up their eyes 
unto the hills, rejoicing in God who had 

given and taken away. In that hallowed 
spot we left her, beside Miss Phebe, whose 
grave, with hers, we covered with beautiful 

" Give her of the fruit of her hands, and 
let her own works praise her." 

24 /iDtss pbtlena jflDclReen 

To the Abbot Courmit, June, 1898, Mrs. 
Annie Sawyer Downs contributed, in loving 

XTbe aftnal Cbapter. 

Reading the tender concluding words of 
Miss McKeen's " Sequel to Annals of Fifty 
Years," we hoped that her " sunset years " 
might be multiplied, and that the time was 
still far distant when her gracious presence 
would no longer dignify our streets, or conse- 
crate her dear and familiar home. But our 
hopes were not to be realized. The words 
alluded to were written almost a year ago, 
and even before they were printed in January 
last it was evident her strength and health 
were failing. 

Early in the autumn, soon after her return 
from York Beach, she had a short but serious 
illness from which she never fully recovered. 
Her failure, however, was not apparent to 
ordinary eyes, and she was active in town, 
club, and home affairs to an extent which 
now seems to have been beyond her strength. 

As a director of the Village Improvement 

/iDemoriaL 25 

Society she was much interested in the beau- 
tifying of the triangle opposite the South 
Church, and was indefatigable in her efforts 
to have it graded, grassed, and made ready 
for a few choice shrubs. The sum required 
to do it seemed so large that many of her 
fellow-directors, feeling that it would be diffi- 
cult to obtain, thought the plan would better 
be given up; but she determined to try, and 
succeeded, as she had always when she made 
similar attempts. 

The last time she went to drive, the Tues- 
day of Easter week, she asked to be taken by 
this piece of ground, and was much pleased 
with its appearance and with the appre- 
ciation shown her efforts, not only by the 
Village Improvement Society but by the 
citizens generally. 

During the late autumn and through the 
winter she met the members of the Art De- 
partment of the November Club once a fort- 
night, and was tireless in her interest in a 
public meeting, held November 29, where the 
entertainment consisted of papers on Ameri- 
can Sculpture, illustrated by stereopticon 

26 /iDtss pbilena /iDclkeen 

The papers were written and read by 
members of the department, and the slides 
were obtained by Miss McKeen from many 
dealers who were acquainted with her repu- 
tation as a teacher and student of art. 

Since the foundation of the November 
Club in 1890, she has been the leader of this 
Art Department, which has always been very 
large in numbers and of unusual interest. 

Again on February 7, 1898, she presided 
at another public meeting of the Art Depart- 
ment, when a lecture was given on Florence, 
where her attention and discriminating appre- 
ciation were generally remarked. Her interest 
in the November Club never waned, and only 
a fortnight before her death the last meeting 
of the season of the Art Department was 
held at her house, although she was not able 
to be down stairs to welcome the members. 

The last writing she ever did for any 
public purpose was for the November Club. 
While she was so feeble as to be obliged to 
do most of the actual writing on the sofa, 
she prepared a carefully considered paper, 
advocating the sale of tickets to the public 

/IDemortaL 27 

when the Club gave any desirable lecture, 
concert, or dramatic entertainment. By so 
doing she thought the funds of the Club 
might be increased, but most of all she de- 
sired to benefit the town. This paper, wise 
in suggestion, noble in aim, and broad in 
sympathy, deserves publication and wide 

But the publication of the " Sequel to 
Annals of Fifty Years" was the important 
event of the winter. She thought of it con- 
tinually, gave prompt, untiring attention to its 
details, and when it was issued, in the first week 
of January, was in all respects but one per- 
fectly satisfied with its appearance. The one 
exception was that the intended dedication to 
Miss Phebe was accidentally omitted. That 
dedication was as follows : 

" This book is affectionately inscribed to 
the memory of my sister, Phebe Fuller Mc- 

It is a great delight to remember how 
pleased she was when the Trustees of Abbot 
Academy asked her to write this book, to 
finish the history of Abbot Academy from 

28 /IDiss pbilena f^clkccn 

1879, where Miss Phebe and she had left it, 
down to 1892, when her own connection with 
the school ceased. While she realized fully 
the work before her, and once or twice dis- 
trusted her physical strength, yet as she went 
on, the renewed intercourse with her dear old 
scholars, the taking up once more of never 
forgotten links in the chain of a happy past, 
imparted to each successive page an addi- 
tional and unexpected charm. 

The book, valuable from the first, is now 
greatly enhanced because it is her last word 
for the beloved school which for more than 
a generation had been her especial charge. 

In the Thanksgiving recess she enter- 
tained the deaf, dumb, and blind Tommy 
Stringer and his teacher. Her enjoyment 
of these unique visitors may be seen in the 
account published in the mid-winter Cotirant, 

During the Christmas holidays w^e were all 
amused by the almost girlish enthusiasm she 
showed in Dr. Nansen's book. We laughed 
at her, and she laughed at herself when she 
told how she stayed at home, even froTu the 
November Club, that her friend and she might 
get on with Dr. Nansen. 

/iDemortal. 29 

She was made very happy by the appoint- 
ment of her pupil, associate, and intimate 
friend, Miss Emily A. Means, to the princi- 
palship of Abbot Academy, and wrote among 
her very latest letters one to her, expressing 
her satisfaction and her conviction of a pros- 
perous future for her dear old school. 

Still, with all this activity, we did not see 
as much of her at our houses as we usually 
did. Instead, we had notes asking us to 
come to her, as it was too cold, windy, or 
icy for her to go out. We praised her 
caution while we wondered at it, but we see 
now she felt her weakness, and remember 
how casual acquaintances began to remark 
her delicacy of appearance. She sat on the 
platform of Punchard Hall on March 21, 
when Mrs. Alice Freeman Palmer gave a 
lecture on the Citizen's Duty to the Public 
Schools. After the lecture she said she felt 
too much fatigued to thank Mrs. Palmer, 
excellent though the lecture was. But, true 
to her habit, she did stop, and made her 
courteous acknowledgment. 

On the first of April, at Mrs. Bancroft's 

30 /Ifttss iPbilena /iDclReen 

funeral, she admitted that she was ill, but 
intended to go to Boston the next day for 
the meeting of the Abbot Club and impera- 
tive business. The business she accomplished, 
but was not equal to the Abbot Club. 

The next week Dr. Chamberlain said she 
had a heart difhculty, and prescribed rest and 
tonics. She was inclined to make light of 
the heart difficulty, but was alarmed by the 
rapid and continual loss of strength, which 
she ascribed, however, to her inability to take 
food. Easter Sunday she drove for a short 
time with Mr. and Mrs. Draper, but said she 
was so weak she was sure she was very poor 
company. From that date, April lo, until 
May 13, when she died, her decline was 
swift. After being ill a fortnight, being 
urged to have a nurse, she smilingly pleaded 
that the plan be deferred a couple of days 
to see if she did not improve. At the end 
of the time she yielded, and on Wednesday, 
April 27, Miss Church, a most careful, intel- 
ligent, and devoted professional nurse, took 
her place by her side to remain until the 
end. Miss McKeen liked her very much, 

/iDemortaU 3^ 

and wrote several friends to tell them how 
glad she was to be so well cared for. Her 
suffering was principally from weakness, the 
difficulty of the heart being much relieved 
by her recumbent position. 

After Thursday, the fifth of May, her 
condition became critical, and on Saturday, 
the seventh. Dr. Chamberlain had a consulta- 
tion with Dr. George M. Garland of Boston, and 
her nephew, Mr. Charles McKeen Duren of 
Eldora, Iowa, was telegraphed for. 

Dr. Garland agreed with Dr. Chamberlain 
as to disease and treatment, and feared she 
would not live until Mr. Duren could reach 
Andover. She did, however, and, when with 
his wife he arrived Monday afternoon, recog- 
nized them, and said she was very glad to 
see them. The details of the last days are 
too sacred to print, even in the Courant, 
Never equal to continuous conversation, she 
could always be roused to recognition and 
perfect comprehension of friends. She said 
she was comfortable, not anxious as to the 
result, and when in answer to her question, 
" What will be the outcome of this illness } " 

32 /IDiBS iPbilena /IDclReen 

Dr. Chamberlain rejoined, " We have grave 
apprehensions, but so great is your recupera- 
tive power, we have likewise hope," she smiled 
gently, and remarked, " I am satisfied to have 
it either way." 

To a friend she said slowly, " It is strange 
it makes so little difference whether we are 
on this side or the other," and a little later, 
when the same friend turned to leave the 
bedside, asked in an almost animated manner, 
" Have you any messages, my dear ? " The 
friend, fearing her own self-control would fail, 
dared to answer only, " Always love." Noth- 
ing could have shown so positively the clear- 
ness of her mind, for it had for years been 
understood between the two that the one who 
went first would be the other's messenger. 
Slowly but surely she faded, the brief periods 
of rally effecting nothing towards permanent 
improvement, and just at sunset, Friday, May 
13, the freed soul passed. 

Tears fell like rain, not for her, but for 
ourselves, that we should see her face no 
more, and that henceforth we must bear our 
heavy burdens without her sympathy and 

/iDemorlaU 33 

On Monday, the i6th, she was placed in 
the McKeen-Rooms at Draper Hall. These 
rooms were especially dear to her, as they 
had been richly and artistically finished by 
contributions from old scholars, teachers, and 
friends in memory of herself and sister. Her 
own lovely portrait, painted by Edgar Parker, 
and given by the Alumnae Association to the 
Academy, stood upon an easel near the head 
of the coffin, while palms and ferns from the 
hothouses of the Andover Trustees made a 
green, fresh, and beautiful background. From 
Trustees, Faculty, Class of 1882, and present 
pupils of Abbot Academy, came exquisite 
pink roses, white roses, and pure white lilies 
of the valley, while the tributes of love from 
the Abbot Clubs of Boston and New York, 
as v/ell as those of innumerable personal 
friends, filled every nook and corner. At 
two o'clock in the afternoon, when the draw- 
ing room, reading room, seniors' parlor, and 
library, as well as the Mc Keen-Rooms were 
crowded with sorrowing groups. Professor 
Churchill took his place at the foot of the 
grand stairway, near the guests' entrance. 

34 /iDisB pbilena /iDclkeen 

Then the Fidelio Society of Abbot Academy, 
under the direction of Mr. Downs, chanted 
the one hundred and twenty-first Psalm, 
which all old scholars associate with Miss 
Phebe. As its sublime expressions of habit- 
ual trust broke the sacred silence, many 
remembered how, on June 20, 1880, Miss 
McKeen had said it with them at the 
memorial service for her sister. 

The Scripture read by Professor Churchill 
soothed and strengthened by its significant 
appropriateness, and his prayer was a noble 
tribute to Miss McKeen as a woman, a widely 
known public educator, and a devoted personal 

Again the Fidelio Society sang, this time 
the school hymn, 

" Father, I know that all my life 
Is portioned out for me," 

which is so associated with all Miss Mc Keen's 
public career that it seemed as if even from 
her coffin, she must sing with us. As it died 
away, first in one room, then in another, Dr. 
Bancroft told any who cared to see her once 
more to pass through the McKeen parlors. 

/IDemottaL ss 

One or two friends stood as a guard of honor 
by the flower-wreathed coffin, and as they 
marked the grief on many a tear-stained face, 
felt that though God had denied the noble 
woman they mourned, the devotion of lover 
and husband, and the worship of children of 
her own, He had filled up her full length of 
days with the unstinted affection of so many 
hearts that her soul could have known no 

Early the next morning there was a little 
neighborhood gathering at Sunset Lodge to 
give her our last farewell. Professor Downs 
played the Allegretto from Beethoven's Sev- 
enth Symphony, Professor Churchill read again 
from the Bible, offered another prayer, and 
those who could command their voices sang 

" Nearer, my God, to Thee." 

Then, accompanied by her nephew and his 
wife, representatives of the Trustees and 
Faculty, and a few friends, she was carried 
to Bradford, Vermont, where in the late after- 
noon of the same day they laid her in the 
place chosen by herself, close to Miss Phebe. 

36 /iDiss iPbilena /IDclReen 

The pine trees of her youth overshadow 
her grave, the river she loved flows quietly 
at her feet, and sorrow is assuaged and lone- 
liness is alleviated as we whisper, " Though 
the places that knew her will know her visible 
presence no more forever, the penetrating and 
persuasive presence of her invisible spirit will 
never vanish, for the life she so nobly and 
courageously lived will be a blessing forever 
to Abbot Academy and to the world." 

jflDemortaL 37 

On Commencement Day, June 21, 1898, 
in the South Church, Andover, Henry A. 
Clapp, Esq., of Boston, delivered an address 
upon Portia, Shakespeare's ideal woman ; 
after which, Professor John Wesley Churchill, 
D.D., spoke as follows to the graduating class 
of Abbot Academy: 

Young Ladies : — 

The Class of '98 has come to the parting 
of the ways. Your bright anticipations of the 
Future are mingled with tender memories of 
the Past. An epoch is also marked in the 
life of the school itself. The guide, coun- 
sellor, and friend of your class, whose wisdom 
and sympathy have directed your intellectual 
and moral life throughout your academic 
course, stands herself at the close of her 
conscientious service in the headship of the 

When our retiring principal, Miss Watson, 
was called to the grave responsibilities of her 
high position, she entered upon a peculiarly 
difficult and delicate task. The guardians of 

3^ /IDtss pbilena /iDclkeen 

the school hoped for a long period of service 
from her. But at the end of the sixth year of 
her principalship she has deemed it best to 
ask for her release from official burdens, and 
she voluntarily gives back to us the trust we 
had committed to her hands. 

It has been a trust faithfully and worthily 
administered, to the extent of her ability and 
full strength of single-hearted devotion. The 
re-organization of the curriculum of study 
suggested by her on assuming the duties of 
the principalship has been maintained with 
a most gratifying degree of success. She has 
cherished and earnestly endeavored to realize 
high ideals in the education of young women ; 
and her personal kindness, counsel, example, 
influence, and power of forceful speech have 
won for her the lasting esteem of her pupils. 
As she seeks much-needed rest and recreation 
in foreign lands, and the fulfillment of cher- 
ished plans for self-culture, we trust that she 
may value among her pleasures of memory 
not only her place upon the honorable roll of 
Abbot's educators, but also this sincere public 
expression of our best wishes and personal 

/IDemortaU 39 

esteem. May she also find a deep satisfac- 
tion in looking back upon her life in Abbot 
Academy as spent in the high service of that 
which passes not away. 

It is natural to turn for a moment from the 
influence and example of the living teacher 
who has guided and cheered you throughout 
your academic course, to another source of 
inspiration which is now radiated upon you 
from the heavenly world. Beside the sar- 
cophagus of the Empress Maria Theresa of 
Austria is the marble receptacle of the ashes 
of her beloved preceptress, placed there by the 
order of the Empress herself. Hundreds of 
the older daughters of your Alma Mater 
honored the preceptress of their youth while 
her earthly presence blessed them, and, next 
to the dear memory of kindred, they revere 
her even more now that she has become a 
living and a sacred memory. 

You, too, as Alma Mater's youngest 
daughters, have felt the influence of her 
benign presence as she has moved in and 
out amongst you. You have seen that grand, 
gray head, and listened to the wisdom born 

40 jfflMss pbtlcna /iDclkeen 

of God as she has imparted to you counsels 
of perfection in the deliberate modulations of 
her low-toned, expressive voice. You honored 
her while living, and now that she has joined 
the happy throng of spirits made perfect who 
are sitting at the feet of the Great Teacher, 
you will venerate her precious memory. 

Fortunate is the graduating class that 
leaves these academic shades under the 
inspiration of an ideal character like Portia 
of Belmont — that lovely creation of the poet's 
brain — and with such a noble and exquisite 
interpretation. Happy is that class which 
has seen and known a sister-woman of real, 
breathing flesh and blood, who will live in 
their memory as an abiding and an active 
influence in their lives — a realized ideal of 
truest womanhood. 

You have seen and known a woman of 
rare mental power, whose judgment, though 
not brilliant in its action, was marked by 
lucidity, sureness, and solidity. She made 
very few mistakes. She was a deep diviner 
of character. At the base of Miss Mc Keen's 
inherited qualities was a robust, roundabout 

/iDemortal. 41 

common-sense, which amounted almost to 
genius. Blended with her massive good 
sense were her quick, womanly intuitions, 
a delicious sense of humor, and a thorough- 
going simplicity and genuineness of character. 
You cannot imagine her as ever influenced 
by an unworthy motive, or allured into a 
dishonorable action, or a morally questionable 
policy. Her integrity was " the immediate 
jewel of her soul." 

She was a woman of ideas, but she made 
no pretence of being a philosopher or a 
reformer in educational theories. I do not 
remember of ever hearing her speak of Abbot 
Academy as a place for the " new education," 
or " the higher education of woman." And 
yet, unconsciously, and in a way entirely nat- 
ural to herself, she did develop the principles 
and the method of a higher education for 
woman. Hers was not the effeminate, gentle 
gospel of female education which says to a 
girl : " Your best, your sweetest empire is to 
please." Miss McKeen virtually said to every 
one of her girls : " Your best, your sweetest 
empire is to serve, — to serve the family 

42 /iDiss pbllena /IDclkeen 

and social life of your country by being a 
womanly woman ; not a conventional ' lady,' 
but a woman of ample mental resource, and 
of Christian culture and refinement." In a 
word, her twofold aim in the education of 
the individual girl was the training for char- 
acter in nobleness and intelligence ; and the 
training for power in the mastery of self- 
respecting womanhood for the service of 
human society, and for honorable influence 
in the citizenship of the state. For a third 
of a century she endeavored to realize for 
Abbot what Thomas Arnold contemplated 
for Rugby. She did not think it necessary 
that Abbot Academy should be a school of 
three hundred, or of one hundred, or of fifty ; 
but it was necessary, she said, that it should 
be " a school of cultivated Christian girls." 

Her whole life was bound up in the school 
and its highest interests ; and her strong, 
magnetic character exercised a powerful form- 
ative influence upon all the girls who came 
under her guidance. The best thing which 
happened to a girl in school was the vital 
contact with the principal's vigorous and 

/iDemortaL 43 

sympathetic nature, which helped a young 
life to emancipate itself from its self-con- 
sciousness, and set it free to grow into the 
very best it had the capacity for being and 

This remarkable woman, the pride and 
glory of Abbot Academy, was a wise organ- 
izer and an economical administrator ; a 
stimulating and vitalizing teacher; a person 
of delicate insight and helpful sympathy; of 
a refinement and nobility of feeling which 
took care of the beautiful ; above all, she was 
a woman of intellectual modesty, of a beautiful 
humility of Christian faith, and of a dauntless 
Christian courage. She rightfully should be 
given her equal place with Emma Willard 
and Mary Lyon, and the Newells and Hazel- 
tines, as one of the most impressive and 
powerful influences in the education of the 
young women of America. 

There is one in our presence to-day who 
intimately knew our venerated friend, and 
to whose deep insight of love has been 
committed the gracious task of delineating 
a completer portrait than mine of this noble 

44 /IDiss pbilena /iDclkeen 

woman. It is beautifully significant that the 
initial service of our principal-elect is the 
commemoration of the character and work 
of a distinguished predecessor, — her revered 
teacher and beloved friend. 

To this pious duty, and to the headship of 
Abbot Academy, we welcome with an " All 
hail ! " and our heart's loyalty and confidence, 
" our Portia," feeling sure that the true ideal 
of womanhood will still be held aloft and 
shinine in the dear old school. 

After the exercises at the South Church 
on Commencement Day, the Twenty-sixth 
Annual Meeting of the Alumnae Association 
was held in Abbot Hall, Miss Emily A. 
Means, principal-elect of Abbot Academy, 
in the chair. At that meeting it was voted 
that a committee be appointed by the Chair 
to draw up suitable resolutions in memory 
of Miss Philena McKeen, and that these 
resolutions be sent Mr. Charles McKeen 
Duren, and printed in the Andover Tow7is- 
man and Abbot CouranL In accordance 

/IDemoriaU 45 

with that vote, the following resolutions have 
been prepared : 

Whereas, God in infinite wisdom and love 
has taken to her heavenly home our beloved 
friend and sister alumna, Miss Philena Mc- 
Keen, and because we recognize that in losing 
her we have lost one of our most respected 
counsellors and faithful supporters ; therefore, 
be it 

Resolved, That we desire to place on record 
our sense of the great service she rendered 
Abbot Academy during the thirty-three years 
she w^as principal ; and our appreciation of her 
recognition of the value of the Alumnae Asso- 
ciation to the school. This recognition she 
showed not only by her presence at our meet- 
ings, but by her enthusiasm in commending 
the Association to all pupils, and her constant 
and opportune mention of the benefit the 
school derived from the administration of our 
funds, slender although they are. In her busi- 
est years she was never too busy to suggest, 
modify, or develop, any plans for rendering 
the Association more efiicient, or for keep- 
ing it in touch with the life of the school. 

46 /HMss pbtlena /iDcTkeen 

Indeed, so many times has the noblest Hfe of 
the Alumnae Association appeared to exist in 
her generous heart and efficient brain, that it 
is further 

Resolved^ That the memory of her unfailing 
hopefulness, her unflagging perseverance, her 
unvarying conviction that the Alumnae Asso- 
ciation held in its hands the future prosperity 
and efficiency of Abbot Academy shall be a 
powerful as well as abiding incentive to the 
most strenuous individual effort to make it 
worthy her highest hopes. 

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions 
be sent Mr. Charles McKeen Duren, with the 
assurance of our hearty sympathy, a copy to 
the Andover Townsman and the Abbot Cou- 
rant, and that they be entered on the records 
of the Alumnae Association and affixed to any 
memorial the Association may prepare of Miss 

Signed, Annie Sawyer Downs. 

Irene R. Draper. 
Mary A. Ripley. 

/IDemoriaU 47 

The Trustees of Abbot Academy, a few 
days after Miss McKeen's death, asked Miss 
Emily A. Means, recently elected principal, to 
deliver a memorial address, with particular 
reference to Miss McKeen as a teacher, at the 
meeting of the Alumnse Association, June 21, 
1898. After the vote authorizing the resolu- 
tions printed upon the preceding page. Miss 
Means read the following paper : 

Dear Friends: — 

I have been asked by the Trustees of 
Abbot Academy to say a few words to you 
about Miss McKeen. They called it a me- 
morial, but what memorial is needed for us, 
who are, so many of us, her living memorials ? 
We are all here as the members of her family, 
to talk of her, and to try to make her live 
again before our minds, not by going over 
the facts of her life, but by estimating and 
admiring the qualities which made her the 
woman and the teacher that she was. 
Those of you who lived with her during 
school-life are better off than I am, who was 
only a day scholar ; but I may add the other 

48 /lOiss pbilena /IDclkeen 

experience of having taught with her. And 
some of you who never knew her as a teacher 
have learned to depend upon her as neighbor 
and fellow-townsman. 

It is fair to say that this school made her 
life, as she made this school. The history of 
the Academy seems feeble, uncertain, and 
halting before these two sisters (for we must 
not speak of Miss McKeen without thinking 
of Miss Phebe) came to it. Children of 
character they must have been, growing up 
in the New England pastor's home, with every 
influence of high moral and spiritual as well 
as mental life ; young women also of great 
capacity, as they taught in the western college. 
But I like to fancy them as entering this town 
and eagerly examining the school surroundings 
with a devoted desire and confidence that here 
was to be the scene of the great labor of their 
lives. And so, finding it drifting aimlessly 
on, they moulded it according to their own 
ideas of what noble ends it should fulfill. 
As Dr. Peabody said at Hampton, in a late 
sermon on General Armstrong's work, " It 
was not first the plan and then the man, but 

/IDemortaL 49 

first the man and then the plan'' There was 
here no iron form into which they must fit, 
but a wide field for their strong personalities 
to cultivate, and in which they themselves 
might grow with its increased fruitfulness. 
It was dimly perceptible, even to me as a 
school girl, that these personalities were a 
divinely appointed contrast and intended to 
be a more complete whole than a single 
human being could be. For as I look back 
upon the days of study, which brighten and 
clear the farther we go from them, I see Miss 
Phebe, always in advance of her girls, stimu- 
lating them to great endeavors, with her 
brilliant smile of approval if they tried to 
climb the heights, or with a scathing scorn 
if they fell behind; like an enthusiastic cap- 
tain, waving a shining sword as he leads the 
charge before his toiling ranks of soldiers ; but 
I see Miss McKeen behind them, with steady 
force pushing them onwards, a force unknown, 
unperceived, but in constant action, like the 
irresistible movement of a glacier. Between 
two such stimuli how could one help moving 
forward 1 There were natures among their 

so /iDlss Ipbtlena /iDclkeen 

scholars to whom one or the other was anti- 
pathetic, but I never heard of one who was 
not sensitive to the action of either. Many 
girls also disliked Miss Mc Keen's methods of 
government. Indeed, it is true enough that 
they were often disagreeable. But that was 
where she had a wider outlook over the 
future than the girl under constraint, and it 
was usually proven to be wholesome in the 
end, as the girl herself, grown to be a woman, 
would testify. No matter how it appeared to 
her, however, no matter how ugly and strong 
was her rebellion, it had no effect upon what 
Miss McKeen thought was her duty. When 
that was in question she was as steel. Nor 
would it be fair to say that she had no favor- 
ites. I believe that all good teachers have. 
And personal criticism of which or of what 
they were could not change that sometimes 
inscrutable liking, which may have been the 
saving of the girl to herself. Who can 
measure the subtle influence of such a sym- 
pathy? Such affection had its due return 
in the end, all the more, one fancies, because 
of the shame of the later woman in having 

/IDemorlaL 51 

played upon and perhaps deceived a friend. 
Yet no one so well as her teachers can speak 
of the wisdom of her ways. In training and 
governing them she showed the great qualities 
of her mind, making them her vicars in the 
school. At the same time there was what to 
me was one of her most unusual gifts — a 
power of letting them alone in their work, 
which gave them a quite remarkable freedom 
for individual influence. Once she had 
selected a teacher and watched over her 
beginning, her confidence became absolute, 
and was the greatest source of strength to 
such an one. It inspired her with a courage 
and a conviction of power which is always 
such a firm basis to work out from. This is 
not to say that she neglected the general con- 
dition of the school, which it was her personal 
business to watch. Her eye was ever keenly 
sensitive to any sign of disorder, carelessness, 
or slovenliness in pupil or teacher. Girls' 
rooms, into which she entered, perhaps by 
chance, were seen at a glance, and an im- 
pression of the occupant's character and of 
her especial shortcomings was gained in a 

52 /llMss pbilena /IDclkeen 

moment. In the same way the materials used 
by the teachers were always under her com- 
prehensive care. Untidy desks, books or 
pictures badly arranged were noted, and some 
one was spoken to to attend to their proper 
neatness. She was certainly a good house- 
keeper in her school before she became such 
in her home. Indoors and out everything felt 
that her eye would be upon it if it were not in 
its best condition and place. We owe much 
of the good state of the school materials to 
her passing up and down, and quick setting 
of things in order. 

As a teacher, perhaps her most special 
quality was that of a breadth of knowledge 
in her own departments, upon which her 
scholars felt that they could fall back with 
as secure a sense of a sustaining power as 
when they trod on mother earth. There was 
no sense of possible failure. What she knew 
she knew with an accuracy and a readiness 
which almost dismayed the young mind. Yet 
this was united with a real and simple humil- 
ity which allowed her to pass, as she wished, 
comparatively unnoticed. For with such un- 

/iDemortaL 53 

usual vigor of mental power, she had a singu- 
lar physical timidity, growing partly, perhaps, 
from the protected and regular life which she 
had led for so many years, but also in some 
degree, the natural complement and relief to 
the masculine quality of her mind. A fear 
of horses, a dread of being left alone in her 
little house, or of going about in the dark, 
she often rather shamefacedly acknowledged, 
with a childlike air of dependence which made 
her seem still more loveable as she grew older. 
This also prevented her from ever desiring to 
appear in a prominent public situation. Yet 
when that became her duty her astonishing 
moral courage prevented any flinching. She 
has said, in such a case, after expressing her 
extreme dislike, " But I shall do it, if it kills 
me ! " And this was no extravagance, but a 
part of the spirit which would have taken her 
to the stake, like one of her favorite martyrs, 
if that had been demanded. We need do no 
more than recall the tortures through which 
she went when begging for the money to build 
Draper Hall, to believe that she would have so 
gone through fire. Such self-sacrifice was the 

54 /llMss pbtlena /lOclkeen 

outward testimony of her perfect and constant 
unselfishness. I do not believe that anyone 
can recall an instance, with regard to however 
small a matter, in which her own personal 
comfort or wish was consulted first. When 
the school was in question then she was eager 
to defend its interests, and actively selfish 
for its sake ; or when her sense of propriety 
showed her that she, as a representative of the 
school and as a dignified woman, should have 
her wishes consulted, then it was equally im- 
possible to move her to sacrifice. The school, 
" dear Abbot," as she called it in her last trem- 
bling note to me, this was her sole pride — 
unless, indeed, we count as such the sweet, 
wholesome joy which she had in her dear 
" Sunset Lodge." Pride in the school meant 
pride in its scholars, and that aided her mem- 
ory to become so unerring and loving about 
the old girls and their lives. How hearty her 
greeting was ! How personal her interest in 
all details of her girls' lives! How sure her 
memory of them, even of their descendants ! 
How comforting was her listening to their 
tales, and her counsel when it was called for ! 

/IDemortaL 55 

Indeed, I never knew a listener like her. Did 
you bring her a question to solve or a state- 
ment to weigh, she sat before you, in utter 
quiescence of the relaxed body, as if the will 
had retired to the brain, and had left only 
gentle pulsations, as in a deep sleep. There 
retired, it enlivened the senses — the eye un- 
swervingly fixed on yours, not keenly, but with 
great intentness ; the ear seeming as if it was 
listening to the very sound of your thoughts, 
sharpened to be sensitive to the very slightest 
stirring of your body, even the mouth quietly 
moving, as if to taste the atmosphere which 
the expression of your thoughts disturbed ; 
the whole body a little bent forward and 
almost heavy with the desertion of the will. 
Have you not all seen her so ? And have 
you not all felt that concentration of atten- 
tion which so increased her fine judgment.? 
Miss McKeen's logical mind and well- 
arranged thoughts made good writing natural 
to her. Her letters were simple, clear, to the 
point, most affectionate to those she loved ; 
her histories orderly, accurate, concise, and 
eminently appropriate in style to the special 

56 ffbiss pbilena /IDclkeen 

requirements of so many details in so large 
a field. Where there was an opportunity for 
the expression of a deeper feeling it was 
present, but it was never obtrusive, or failed 
by excess to attain its true effect. 

But I cannot pretend to analyze each 
faculty which made this great teacher a 
force in the world. You must each of you 
fill in many gaps which I have left, as you 
feel that she acted upon your own lives. 
She belongs to that race of teachers, great 
because of their strong characters, of such 
as Dr. Arnold and Dr. Samuel Taylor are 
examples. Scholarship they had, but the 
teaching of life, the impression on life, came 
not from that, but from their own lives — 
strong, sweet, gentle, firm, honest, and right- 
eous. Some of these fell in the full tide of 
the conduct of their schools, but to Miss 
McKeen was reserved the still better end of 
using other faculties, ripened by much expe- 
rience, in the service of the town. One 
picture must be before us at the close of 
her life — her sunny home and herself as its 
hospitable mistress. Here all the warmth of 

/IDemortaL S7 

her affection was free to express itself; and, 
guarded and cared for by her faithful Katy, 
among her singing birds and her plants, with 
her dainty housekeeping instincts all satisfied, 
she loved to receive her friends, doing im- 
measurable good to the young girls who were 
so blessed as to be in her house, measuring 
her other hospitality with careful planning, so 
as not to impose too much labor, studying 
for her Bible class and her club department, 
enthusiastic in beautifying the town, stretch- 
ing out on all sides to use herself to the 
best of her ability in whatever direction was 
opened. Her peacefully flowing life thus 
passed to its merging in the wider one in 
the most blessed way, with no pain and but 
a few days' weariness. " It will be well either 
way," she wrote during her illness, when she 
said she was " expected to climb up the hill 
of health " again. Her work here was planned 
to go on as usual, but her work beyond she 
knew was ready for her when she was called 
to it. We mourn the loss of a dear friend, 
teacher, neighbor, one wise in judgment and 
counsel ; but for her, with the blessed reunion 

58 /nM66 pbtlena /iDclkeen 

with her beloved Master, and with Miss Phebe, 
we are glad. She had tasted the full cup ; it 
might have held more, but it was full of the 
completion of all the promises of God to 
those who love His commandments and keep 
them, and do His work in the world. 

When Miss Means ended, the Alumnae 
Association voted that the paper be printed, 
as a memorial of Miss McKeen, in connection 
with the resolutions, articles, and other ad- 
dresses contained in this book. 

It being further voted that all details be 
left to the committee which drafted the 
resolutions, the compilation is respectfully 
submitted by 

Annie Sawyer Downs. 

Irene Rowley Draper. 

Mary Aiken Ripley.